If you've tried playing pickleball, you're probably aware of its growing popularity. It's a fun game that's relatively easy to learn and can give you a good workout. What's great is that it's suitable for people of different ages and skill levels. Once you've mastered the basic techniques like dinks, groundstrokes, and volleys, you might be interested in taking your game to the next level. Here are some helpful tips to improve your pickleball skills:
|8 pro Tips to Improve Your Pickleball Game
1. Serve and Return Deep
If you've played tennis before, adjusting to the bounce serve in pickleball might be a bit challenging. However, the strategy of hitting the ball deep and cross-court before moving closer to the kitchen is similar. Hitting a deep serve makes it harder for your opponents to advance to the kitchen after returning the ball. It can also set you up for an easier third shot if your opponent's return is short.
2. Serve and Stay, Return and Run In
Remember that the first two shots in pickleball must bounce. After you serve, it's important to stay back with your partner, as this gives you more time to react to your opponent's return. On the other hand, when you're returning, try to reach the kitchen as quickly as possible to join your partner. Just remember not to volley while inside the kitchen area.
3. Keep Your Paddle Up
Maintaining a ready position with your paddle up allows you to be versatile and ready for different types of shots. Always keep your paddle up between each shot and anticipate that your opponent might hit a powerful shot. It's also crucial to keep your knees bent and your feet moving so that you can quickly react and move to the ball.
4. Consider Your Contact Point
Position yourself behind the ball and ensure that your contact point is in front of your body. This will optimize your shot and give you better control over where the ball goes. Having the right contact point is essential for executing the shot you want.
5. Don't Be Afraid of the Kitchen
Many beginners feel a bit hesitant about entering the kitchen area. While it's important to follow the rules regarding the kitchen, you don't need to stay away from it altogether. Remember that you can hit the ball without letting it bounce as long as your feet are behind the kitchen line. If the ball bounces, it's perfectly fine to step into the kitchen to hit it.
6. Keep Volley Swings Compact
When volleying, it's tempting to go for big swings and powerful shots. However, having a long swing can actually work against you. The key to generating power on your volleys is hitting the sweet spot of your paddle, and it's easier to do that with shorter swings. So, keep your volley swings nice and compact.
7. Invest in Quality Gear
Having the right equipment is crucial for optimal performance and safety. While getting a pickleball racket and ball are obvious necessities, don't overlook the importance of pickleball-specific shoes. Regular running shoes lack the lateral support and stability required for the lateral movements in pickleball. Invest in pickleball court shoes to ensure you have the right support and can focus on your game.
8. Use a Loose Grip for a Soft Shot
The grip you use on your paddle can make a difference, especially when you want to hit a softer shot. For soft shots, it's best to have a loose grip. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being extremely loose and 10 being extremely tight, aim for a grip around 2 or 3 when hitting something soft. On the other hand, if you want to hit a shot with more pace, tighten your grip to around 6 or 7.
By following these tips, you can elevate your pickleball game and have more success on the court. Remember to practice regularly, stay focused, and enjoy the game!